Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Community Services Ministers’ Meeting Communique

Community Services Ministers (CSM) met via videoconference on 27 August 2021.

Ministers acknowledged the worsening COVID-19 situation across Australia, and thanked all Governments and the non-government sector for their important work to support vulnerable children and families.

Ministers agreed the new National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children will be called Safe and Supported: The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021-2031. Its vision is that ‘children and young people in Australia reach their full potential by growing up safe and supported, free from harm and neglect.’

Ministers agreed to develop a separate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific implementation plan alongside each of the two, five year implementation plans. 

Ministers acknowledged the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group, led by SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, for their important contribution to the development of the National Framework. Ministers recognised the progress on developing the new National Framework, and look forward to finalising the Framework in the coming weeks.  

Ministers also discussed recent issues raised by providers of children and disability services regarding difficulties in obtaining public liability insurance that includes coverage for physical and sexual abuse claims. Ministers agreed to establish a working group, co-chaired by New South Wales and Tasmania, to consider options for a consistent approach in addressing this issue.

Ministers noted that the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse will be considered by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and First Ministers, and is scheduled for release in the coming months.